Barry Cleveland: One-Sentence Reviews of Four Great Experimental Albums (with Audio)

| December 5, 2013

In a world where conformity is routinely rewarded and individuality discouraged, it is always encouraging to encounter artists that choose to honor their own muse and court her in whatever ways she fancies.

Elliott Sharp, David Cooper Orton, Bruce Eisenbeil, and Bill Horist are all accomplished guitarists and composers for whom “working outside the box” is a non-issue—because they’ve rarely ventured into boxes to begin with.

The artists were gracious enough to provide streaming audio of an entire album track for your perusal. Feel free to bypass my verbiage and go right to the good stuff, and if you dig what they are doing, please support their artistic endeavors by purchasing their works.



Elliott Sharp
Momentum Anomaly
Wielding a modified Godin Duet Multiac tuned D, Bb, D, Eb, Bb, D (low to high), dual EBows, a slide, and some springs, Sharp masterfully slaps, taps, strokes, hammers, scrapes, fingerpicks, and otherwise coaxes musically compelling sonic singularities from his instrument. New Atlantis.
Featured Track: “Momentum Anomaly 5 Excerpts”

David Cooper Orton and Steve Uccello
Warp and Weft
Adept looping and a neo-minimalist compositional approach lie at the core of this wonderfully melodic and aurally exquisite collaboration between British guitarist David Cooper Orton and American upright bassist Steve Uccello (with occasional percussion by Nat Grant).
Featured Track: “Spanning Gyre”

Voices of Grain
Electric guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, upright bassist Tom Blancarte, and drummer Andrew Drury pull wild, weighty, wistful, whimsical, wondrous, and occasionally wacky wabbits out of their collective improvisational hat on this multifaceted and adventurous outing. New Atlantis.
Featured Track: “Genosong”

Bill Horist
Guitar Weirdo (Solo Prepared Guitar Improvisations 2000-2012)
On this intriguing album, Seattle-based improviser Bill Horist utilizes prepared guitars, live looping, sundry gizmos and effects, and his unerring real-time compositional prowess to manifest exquisite sonic sculptures. Tangenesis Artifactory.
Featured Track: “Our Scars of Braille Withheld”

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